Posts Tagged ‘lyrics’


Marketing through Product Placement in Media/Entertainment Offers No Escape for Consumers

Friday, May 20th, 2011
Flickr Image: Laughing Squid

Flickr Image: Laughing Squid

Most of us escape to some form of entertainment as a way to relax from life’s stresses, whether it’s rocking to our favorite songs or losing ourselves in a movie. However, as we are listening or watching we are constantly being exposed to marketing and advertising in subtle and sometimes not so subtle doses, through clever product placement. It’s everywhere, in every form of media and entertainment. Brands are trying desperately to keep up with the newly empowered consumers of 2011. We are cutting our cable chords (canceling cable in favor of Internet access to content), DVR’ing shows to skip commercials, and having manhandled the music industry for the past decade – using peer-to-peer networks to illegally download songs.

The music industry has a few things up their sleeves to make some extra dough. In the last decade, they’ve began experimenting with the idea of product placement in lyrics to the tune of $30 million. We all remember the Busta Rhymes and P Diddys jingle, err song, called “Pass The Courvoisier,” released after Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records cut a deal with the cognac’s marketer to reposition the brand in the hip hop community.

The movie industry has been using product placement since silent films. Last month Warrior Poets, Morgan Spurlock’s production company, and incidentally a BurrellesLuce client (an obvious plug) released a movie on this very subject, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.” Spurlock’s latest work is a documentary that takes a comical view while exploring the world of product placement, marketing and advertising. Incidentally the film was fully financed through product placement from various brands, all of which are integrated transparently into the film.

In my view, the product integration model seems to be marketers only recourse. After all what choice did we, the consumer, leave them – especially with the younger generation turning increasingly to the web for their content and worldwide device?  Gartner Group announced earlier this week that worldwide communication device sales totaled 427.8 million units in the first quarter, an increase of 19 percent from first quarter 2010, with smart phones accounting for 23 percent, an 85 percent increase year-on- year.

 I don’t mind a product placement or two in my content, after all products and brands are a big part of our everyday lives. But I have one request for the marketers and advertisers, and let’s call it “for the sake of preserving escapism through entertainment,” can you please keep your placements subtle to the viewer? At least in the movie Castaway, although the FedEx brand was overly exploited, it was brilliantly woven into the plot, which I found to be less invasive and manipulative. Now I’m not saying that I’ve used FedEx more as a result of watching the Castaway, forget it….. come to think of it I actually have.

Have you been sold on product placement in films and music? How are you using these placements in your own marketing, advertising, and communications activities? Please share your thoughts we me and readers Fresh Ideas.

The Music Business Rocks On… Shrugging Off Internet Challenges From The Past

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
Image Source: The Age.com.au

Image Source: The Age.com.au

Over the last 10 years the music business has resembled the “boy” in lyrics from any of the countless number of songs written over the years about “boy meets girl,” “boy loses girl,” and/or “boys falls back in love with girl.” The music industry has been in a tailspin since 1999 (coincidentally the same year Napster was spawned). The advent of peer-to-peer services caused massive music piracy and, with free music just a click away, proved to be the direct blow that would send CD sales plummeting and ultimately crippling a once very profitable industry.

However, the music business seems to have bottomed out and actually managed to grow over the last two years (the entire British music business grew 5 percent from 2008 -2009). One way it has managed this is by returning to its roots – live performances. When I attended my first concert, (Ozzie Osborne –  What was I thinking?), I had no idea at the time Mr. Osborne, for the most part, was touring as a way to market his new album. Although I would like to think the bands I saw back in the day were there because they truly enjoyed playing live (I’m sure some did), the concert was more of a live commercial to promote their new albums and get people to buy them.

These days’ bands are touring again to cash in on booming ticket sales (with top acts commanding over 100 dollars) and are laughing all the way to the bank as they play in front of sold out crowds. “Many of the acts selling out stadiums are old,” says Rob Hallet, the president of international touring at AEG Live. The top three American touring acts last year were U2 (average age: 49), Bruce Springsteen (61) and a double bill of Billy Joel (61) and Elton John (63). All have contributed to a surge in ticket prices – tripling from $1.5 billion in 1999 to $4.6 billion in 2009.  It’s not that more people are going to live performances, but rather paying more per ticket. According to Pollstar, a research firm that tracks the market, the average ticket price should be $35.30 today if they increased in line with inflation. Instead the average price of a ticket costs a whopping $62.57.

Bands not only are relying on live performances. They also are looking to alternative revenue streams to help mitigate the drop in CD sales, such as merchandising, sponsorships, online streaming and emerging markets. One area that is booming is publishing. Music’s best customer is television “Watch any evening’s worth of TV and count how many times you hear music in the background,” says Jeremy Lascellas, chief executive of Chrysalis.

If the music business could figure out a way to share a synergistic relationship with the Internet, other forms of media and entertainment can surely learn from their long strange trip. Although the music industry is relying less on CD sales and more on alternative revenue streams – one thing is certain: people continue to pay a premium for quality content regardless of whether it’s coming from a 3-D movie screen ($20 average price per ticket in New York) or Mick Jagger’s 67 year old vocal pipes.